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William Allen Thomas 8/6/65 - 6/10/09

Forum: Grief and Loss


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June 14th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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My dad was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer with metastasis to his hips and spine in November of 2008. He had symptoms for a while but put off going to the hospital until my mom was approved for Medicaid due to her 3 movement disorders. He wanted to make sure she was taken care of first. He had lost over 60 lbs and was losing his appetite and having a lot of trouble breathing. When he was diagnosed, he had walking pneumonia and a collapsed lung on top of the cancer. It was inoperable due to the mass (which was the size of a medium sized dinner plate) being attached to his lung wall and lymph nodes. They hit him with the most aggressive form of chemotherapy and radiation they could. For almost 2 months, he had chemo every Monday and radiation 5 days a week. It did NOTHING. At that point they said we needed palliative care to make him comfortable for his remaining time.
They continued chemo once every 21 days until he decided the side effects were not worth whatever little time it might give him. I believe that was March. For a little while, he did okay. He could still do a lot around the house and mow the grass and what not. In April, my mom said he couldn't breathe and his skin was cold so she called 911 and they rushed him to the hospital. He was treated for an infection in his lungs and hooked up to oxygen. He stayed in the hospital for about 3 days. They told us to go ahead and contact Hospice care because he definitely had less than 6 months left to live. So Hospice started visiting him x amount of times a week and providing everything we needed for the house and medicines. He was on oxygen and heavy pain meds at home.
Slowly but surely his health started to decline. He began eating less, sleeping more, becoming incoherent, etc. In late May, Hospice was coming every day or every other day to check on him. We attempted an at home 24 hour nurse but we didn't even make it 24 hours before the nurse on duty said he really needed to be in Hospice in patient care to get his pain under control. So off to Hospice he went. My mom, his brother, and his mom alternated staying with him. The second day he was there when his dad and stepmom and brother came into town, he seemed to be getting better. He started rallying and became more active, eating, drinking, etc. After a couple of days, he started to decline again. On June 10th at 7:15 AM he passed away peacefully in bed with everyone at his side. Rest in peace dad- I love you and miss you more than you'll ever know!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you currently smoke, please try to stop. Contact whoever you can to help you quit. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. It is not worth it.
Here is the thread I made in my playroom when he started to rapidly decline. It has more details regarding our visits to Hospice and what not.

Last edited by melkissa2004; June 14th, 2009 at 07:25 PM.
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June 17th, 2009, 11:47 AM
justjaQ's Avatar Platinum Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sterling Heights, MI
Posts: 19,640
hugs and positive thoughts your way. i'm so sorry.
msjaQ- 28, pantheist AP detroit mama to:
timothy michael, august 31, 2003, 12:02pm, 8 lb. 4 oz., 21"- 38 wks.
melissa may, april 7, 2006, 1:31pm, 7 lb. 10.5 oz., 19.5"- 36.5 wks
nicholas michael, january 31, 2010, 5:12pm, 5 lb. 11 oz., 18.25"- 37.1 wks
damon michael, january 21, 2012, 1:31am, 6 lb. 14 oz., 20", 38 wks
rainbow baby left me at 6-1/2 weeks on 09.08.12~ never forgotten, sweet child

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